The scoring system for badminton has changed in recent years. This was done to speed games up and make them more entertaining to watch. A badminton game is now played up to 21 points, and a point can be scored from every rally, regardless of who is serving. Under the old system a point could only be scored by the player holding the serve.

The main reasons for the change were:

  • To make the sport more marketable
  • To make easier to understand
  • To reduce match time
  • To make it more exciting for the spectators

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) laws for scoring and match play.

Scoring System

  • A match consists of the best of 3 games of 21 points.
  • Every time there is a serve there is a point scored.
  • The side winning a rally adds a point to its score.
  • At 20 all, the side which gains a 2 point lead first, wins that game.
  • At 29 all, the side scoring the 30th point, wins that game.
  • The side winning a game serves first in the next game.

Interval and Change of Ends

  • When the leading score reaches 11 points, players have a 60 second interval.
  • A 2 minute interval between each game is allowed.
  • In the third game, players change ends when the leading score reaches 11 points.

Singles

  • At the beginning of the game (0-0) and when the server's score is even, the server serves from the right service court. When the server's score is odd, the server serves from the left service court.
  • If the server wins a rally, the server scores a point and then serves again from the alternate service court.
  • If the receiver wins a rally, the receiver scores a point and becomes the new server. They serve from the appropriate service court; left if their score is odd, and right if it is even.

Doubles

  • A side has only one serve..
  • At the beginning of the game and when the score is even, the server serves from the right service court. When it is odd, the server serves from the left court.
  • If the serving side wins a rally, the serving side scores a point and the same server serves again from the alternate service court.
  • If the receiving side wins a rally, the receiving side scores a point. The receiving side becomes the new serving side.
  • The players do not change their respective service courts until they win a point when their side is serving.

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